Alaskan airline begins ‘historic’ commercial biofuel flights

Alaska Airlines is flying 75 commercial passenger flights in the United States powered by biofuel. The airline’s chief is now calling for the biofuels industry to ramp up its efforts […]

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By Vicky Ellis

Alaska Airlines is flying 75 commercial passenger flights in the United States powered by biofuel. The airline’s chief is now calling for the biofuels industry to ramp up its efforts to help the aviation industry pick it more often.

Starting this Wednesday,select flights from Seattle toWashington, D.C. and Portland,will use a 20% blend of sustainable biofuel made from used cooking oil.Alaska Air Group estimates the biofuel blend it is using for the 75 flights will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by around 10%.

Bill Ayer,Group Chairman and CEO said: “Commercial airplanes are equipped and ready for biofuels. What we need is an adequate, affordable and sustainable supply. To the biofuels industry, we say: If you build it, we will buy it.”

He added that using biofuels can insulate airlines from the “volatile price swings” of conventional fuel, which could make air travel more economical.

If all its flights used the biofuel mix, the yearly emissions savings would be the equivalent of taking nearly 64,000 cars off the road.